Australia launches SME Defence Export Grant Programme

A new grant programme has been launched by the Australian government to provide small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with funding to build defence export capabilities.

Under the AUD4.1 million (USD2.9 million) Defence Global Competitiveness Grant programme, companies will be able to bid for government grants valued at between AUD15,000 and AUD150,000 to meet up to 50% of eligible project costs.

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Defence Industry Minister, Steven Ciobo said, “The grant program – to be delivered through the Centre for Defence Industry Capability – is a key initiative of the Government’s Defence Export Strategy.

The Minister said, “The Strategy sets an ambitious and long-term plan to grow Australia’s defence exports to build our defence industry and strengthen Australian Defence Force capability. The stronger Australia’s defence industry, the more safe and secure the country is.”

Activities covered by the grants range from purchasing, leasing, or commissioning capital equipment to improving IT systems to enhance cyber security, design and engineering activities, and workforce training. The maximum duration of each grant is 18 months.

Projects are required to relate to new or expanded defence-sector export opportunities, with work taking place in Australia.

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To apply for the program, businesses must have less than 200 employees on their books, have an Australian Business Number (ABN), and be incorporated in Australia.

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